There are days that living with your father is not all cupcakes and kittens like one would imagine.
Moments like this make me miss my mother. Not because she would have been easier to live with, but because she would be in charge here.
Last week I received notice from the Social Security office office that my father’s monthly benefit was being increased by $20 per month. Bring on the parade.
The very next day I received notice from Medicare that as a result of this financial windfall, dad has been bumped out of the earnings bracket that allows him to receive prescription coverage assistance.
Four strokes, one heart attack, two cataracts, type two diabetes, congestive heart failure, renal failure, neuropathy… while my formal medical training is light, my practical experience is deep.
If anyone with aging parents thinks Medicare will be enough to take care of them, it’s time to start doing your homework. (I recommend joining AARP to enroll in United Health’s “I” plan)
The cost of the necessary private “gap” insurance is almost the same as what we pay for our own family medical insurance and it is 100% self funded. (By the way, that nursing home bus your siblings will tell you is going to swing by and grab mom or dad when they start to lose their marbles? It’ll be right there. You can see it just behind that white knight on the stallion charging in your direction. PS It’s also self funded).
Like any good caretaker, I took the time to read and explain the documents to Papa so he would be prepared for the new charges on his next trip to CVS pharmacy. The charge for his cocktail of magic pills, drops, and injectables that keep him alive and smiling despite a daily diet of Classic Coke and Little Debbie snack cakes was going up.
“Goodnight Pop. Here’s a tea and some snacks for you.”
“Thanks, Dee Dee. Hey. I went to pick up my eye drops today and they charged me $88 for them!”
“I’m sure they did Dad. Remember? We talked about this? Your coverage has changed and you are now responsible to pay additional charges for supplemental prescription insurance which doesn’t cover the cost of your prescriptions.”
“But I pay 10$ each”
“You did. Now you pay more. Your meds are $800 a month. Brace yourself. If it makes you feel better they would have charged me $150 for those drops on my insurance.”
“F%$# them. I’m not paying it.”
“You have no choice.”
“Yes I do. I won’t take them anymore. None of them. I’ll show them.”
“Good plan Dad. Lose your sight to save $88.”